House Mice

What do house mice look like?

a house mouse inside of a home in princeton illinois

An adult house mouse ranges in size from 5-1/2 to 7 inches in length; this includes their tail which is dark, scaly, and has a light layer of fur on it. They vary in color and can have gray, black, or brown colored fur covering their bodies, with lighter tan colored bellies. House mice have pointed muzzles, small dark colored eyes, continuously growing incisors, large ears, and short, broad feet. House mice can also be identified by their droppings which are rod shaped with pointed ends, likely have small hairs in them, and are about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long.

Where are house mice found?

Despite their name, house mice are found living outside where they will nest in fields, lawns, and in landscaped garden areas. House mice get their name because they are the most common species of mouse found living in Iowa & Illinois homes and other buildings. They can invade a property any time of the year, but become particularly problematic in the late fall and winter months when they are looking for safe, warm shelter to overwinter in. They enter homes through very small spaces, and are most often found living and nesting in dark, secluded places that are close to food sources.

Common areas to find house mice living in include basements, attics, crawlspaces, laundry rooms, and behind large appliances like stoves and refrigerators. They will use paper, cotton, cardboard, insulation, clothing, and other items they gather from around your home to create their nests. House mice have very poor eyesight, so they rely heavily on their other senses; smell, taste, and touch. They travel along walls, using them as a guide to help them find their way. Most rodents are nocturnal, so if mice have invaded your home you may hear rustling and running sounds behind walls and above the ceiling at night when they are moving about and foraging for food and water.

What do house mice eat?

House mice are omnivorous, which means that they will basically feed on anything, although they prefer a diet of seeds and cereal grains. Inside homes, they will look for foods that are high in fat, protein, and sugar. As house mice feed on food sources located in your home, they not only contaminate the food, but they also contaminate kitchen and pantry surfaces with their saliva, urine, and feces.

DIY house mouse prevention and control tips

Preventing house mice from invading your building is very important. They contaminate homes and businesses with their urine and feces, damage the structure of your building, and destroy personal items with their constant gnawing. House mice introduce dangerous disease, bacteria, and parasites into homes and businesses. The following tips can help to prevent house mice from being attracted to your home and gain entrance.

  • Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation of your building.

  • Fix holes along the roofline, and replace loose or missing shingles.

  • Caulk gaps found around windows and doors, and install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Place tight-fitting caps on all your home’s chimneys, and make sure vent covers are secure.

  • Make sure that trash being kept outside is placed in garbage cans that have tight-fitting or locking lids.

  • Place wood piles and compost piles a good distance away from the outside of your home.

  • Trim back trees and shrubs from the exterior of your home. Mice can use their branches as a way in.

  • Inside your home, make sure that food in your kitchen is stored in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.

  • Quickly clean up spills and crumbs in kitchen and pantry areas.

  • Keep clutter to a minimum in storage areas like attics, basements, and closets.

Professional house mouse control

For help getting rid of mice, contact Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. Our company offers home pest control programs and commercial pest services that will combat house mice and other types of rodents. Reach out to us today!

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